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Publication numberUS20040053678 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/245,161
Publication dateMar 18, 2004
Filing dateSep 16, 2002
Priority dateSep 16, 2002
Publication number10245161, 245161, US 2004/0053678 A1, US 2004/053678 A1, US 20040053678 A1, US 20040053678A1, US 2004053678 A1, US 2004053678A1, US-A1-20040053678, US-A1-2004053678, US2004/0053678A1, US2004/053678A1, US20040053678 A1, US20040053678A1, US2004053678 A1, US2004053678A1
InventorsRussell Savio, Dion Aoki, Max Nepomuceno, Jason Poole, Brad Schultz
Original AssigneeRussell Savio, Dion Aoki, Max Nepomuceno, Jason Poole, Brad Schultz
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming machine and method having bonus game with skilled and non-skilled options
US 20040053678 A1
Abstract
A gaming machine and a method for playing a game. The gaming machine includes a base game and a bonus game. A plurality of game elements are displayed on a display during the base game. The base game and the bonus game are controlled by a controller as a function of input by a player. The controller identifies an occurrence of a triggering event during the base game, enters the bonus game upon the occurrence of the triggering event, and offers the player a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option in the bonus game.
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Claims(50)
What is claimed is:
1. A gaming machine for playing a game, the game having a base game and a bonus game, comprising:
a display for displaying a plurality of game elements during the base game; and,
a controller coupled to the display for controlling the display during the base game and a bonus game as a function of input by a player, identifying an occurrence of a triggering event during the base game, entering the bonus game upon the occurrence of the triggering event, and, offering the player a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option in the bonus game, the skilled option including a first pay table and the non-skilled option including a second pay table, and responsively awarding the player a bonus.
2. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the first pay table represents a greater pay opportunity to the player than the second pay table.
3. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the first pay table has a first maximum payout and the second pay table has a second maximum payout, where the first maximum payout is greater than the second maximum payout.
4. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 3, wherein the second maximum payout has a higher relative probability than the first maximum payout.
5. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 1, wherein the controller is adapted to present to the player a plurality of items when the player selects one of the skilled and the non-skilled options, each item associated with a multiplier.
6. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 5, where the multiplier associated with each item is determined when the bonus game is entered.
7. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 5, where the multiplier associated with each item is determined after an item has been selected by the player.
8. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 5, where, if the player selects the skilled option, the controller prompts the player to select one of the items, displays the multiplier associated with a first selected item and prompts the player to keep or discard the first selected item.
9. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 8, wherein the controller prompts the player to select another one of the items if the player discards the previously selected item and displays the multiplier associated with the second selected item.
10. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 9, wherein the bonus is a function of the multiplier associated with the first selected item if the player keeps the first selected item and is a function is a function of the multiplier associated with the second selected item if the player discards the first selected item.
11. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 5, where, if the player selected the non-skilled option, the controller prompts the player to select two of the items and displays the multiplier associated with each selected item, where the bonus is a function of a sum of the multipliers associated with each of the selected items.
12. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 5, where the plurality of items includes a framed pictured, a chest, a record player, a piggy bank, and a statue.
13. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 1, where the gaming machine has a yard sale theme.
14. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 1, where the triggering event is the appearance of a predetermined number of a predetermined game element in predetermined locations on a pay line.
15. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 14, wherein the predetermined game element is indicative of a yard sale.
16. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 14, where the game elements are displayed in a plurality of reels on the display and the predetermined locations include a location on each reel.
17. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 14, where the game elements are displayed in a plurality of reels on the display and the predetermined locations include a location on less than all of the reels.
18. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 14, where the game elements are displayed in five reels and the predetermined locations include a location on a first three of the reels.
19. A gaming machine for playing a game, the game having a base game and a bonus game, comprising:
a display for displaying a plurality of game elements during the base game and the bonus game; and,
a controller coupled to the display for controlling the display during the base game and the bonus game as a function of input by a player, identifying an occurrence of a triggering event during the base game, entering the bonus game upon the occurrence of the triggering event and offering, during the bonus game, the player a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option, wherein the controller presents to the player a plurality of items when the player selects one of the skilled and non-skilled options, each item being associated with a multiplier, the skilled option including a first pay table and the non-skilled option including a second pay table, and responsively awarding the player a bonus, where, if the player selects the skilled option, the controller prompts the player to select one of the items, displays the multiplier associated with a first selected item and prompts the player to keep or discard the first selected item, the controller prompts the player to select another one of the items if the player discards the previously selected item and displays the multiplier associated with the second selected item, and where, if the player selects the non-skilled option, the controller prompts the player to select two of the items and displays the multiplier associated with each of the two selected item, and awards the player a bonus during the bonus game.
20. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 19, wherein the first pay table represents a greater pay opportunity to the player than the second pay table.
21. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 20, wherein the first pay table has a first maximum payout and the second pay table has a second maximum payout, where the first maximum payout is greater than the second maximum payout.
22. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 21, wherein the second maximum payout has a higher relative probability than the first maximum payout.
23. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 19, where the multiplier associated with each item is determined when the bonus game is entered.
24. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 19, where the multiplier associated with each item is determined after an item has been selected by the player.
25. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 19, wherein the bonus is a function of the multiplier associated with the first selected item if the player chose the skilled option and keeps the first selected item, a function of the multiplier associated with the second selected item if the player chose the skilled option and discards the first selected item, or a function of the two multipliers associated with the two selected items if the player chose the non-skilled option.
26. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 19, where the plurality of items includes a framed pictured, a chest, a record player, a piggy bank, and a statue.
27. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 19, where the gaming machine has a yard sale theme.
28. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 19, where the triggering event is the appearance of a predetermined number of a predetermined game element in predetermined locations on a pay line.
29. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 28, wherein the predetermined game element is indicative of a yard sale.
30. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 28, where the game elements are displayed in a plurality of reels on the display and the predetermined locations include a location on each reel.
31. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 28, where the game elements are displayed in a plurality of reels on the display and the predetermined locations include a location on less than all of the reels.
32. The gaming machine, as set forth in claim 28, where the game elements are displayed in five reels and the predetermined locations include a location on a first three of the reels.
33. A method for operating a gaming machine for playing a game, the game having a base game and a bonus game, comprising:
displaying a plurality of game elements on a display during the base game; and,
identifying an occurrence of a triggering event during the base game;
entering the bonus game upon the occurrence of the triggering event;
offering the player a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option, the skilled option have a first pay table and the non-skilled option having a second pay table; and,
responsively playing one of the skilled option and the non-skilled option and responsively awarding the playing a bonus during the bonus game.
34. The method, as set forth in claim 33, wherein the first pay table represents a greater pay opportunity to the player than the second pay table.
35. The method, as set forth in claim 34, wherein the first pay table has a first maximum payout and the second pay table has a second maximum payout, where the first maximum payout is greater than the second maximum payout.
36. The method, as set forth in claim 35, wherein the second maximum payout has a higher relative probability than the first maximum payout.
37. The method, as set forth in claim 33, wherein the controller is adapted to present to the player a plurality of items, each item associated with a multiplier.
38. The method, as set forth in claim 37, where the multiplier associated with each item is determined when the bonus game is entered.
39. The method, as set forth in claim 37, where the multiplier associated with each item is determined after an item has been selected by the player.
40. The method, as set forth in claim 37, where, if the player selects the skilled option, the method includes prompting the player to select one of the items, displaying the multiplier associated with a selected item and prompting the player to keep or discard the selected item.
41. The method, as set forth in claim 41, including prompting the player to select another one of the items if the player discards the previously selected item and displays the multiplier associated with the second selected item.
42. The method, as set forth in claim 41, wherein the bonus is a function of the multiplier associated with the selected item.
43. The method, as set forth in claim 38, where, if the player selected the non-skilled option, the controller prompts the player to select two of the items and displays the multiplier associated with each selected item, where the bonus is a function of the multiplier associated with each of the selected items.
44. The method, as set forth in claim 38, where the plurality of items includes a framed pictured, a chest, a record player, a piggy bank, and a statue.
45. The method, as set forth in claim 33, where the gaming machine has a yard sale theme.
46. The method, as set forth in claim 45, where the triggering event is the appearance of a predetermined number of a predetermined game element in predetermined locations on a pay line.
47. The method, as set forth in claim 46, wherein the predetermined game element is indicative of a yard sale.
48. The method, as set forth in claim 46, where the game elements are displayed in a plurality of reels on the display and the predetermined locations include a location on each reel.
49. The method, as set forth in claim 46, where the game elements are displayed in a plurality of reels on the display and the predetermined locations include a location on less than all of the reels.
50. The method, as set forth in claim 46, where the game elements are displayed in five reels and the predetermined locations include a location on a first three of the reels.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The subject invention relates to gaming machines, and more particularly, to a gaming machine having a bonus game with skilled and non-skilled options.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Electro-mechanical slot machines are well known in the art. Mechanical reels include symbols on their reel strips and are driven by stepper motors to rotate and stop, thereby presenting symbol combinations on one or more pay lines. Depending on the pay line(s) symbol combinations, the player has one or more winning combinations or losing combinations. For winning combinations, the player receives an award based upon an established pay schedule (referred to as the “pay table”).

[0003] Modernly it has been known to provide a secondary bonus screen for electromechanical slot machines, embodied, for example, as a plasma screen disposed apart from the game display. Based upon a triggering event, the bonus screen selects a bonus for the player.

[0004] In addition to the electromechanical slot machines, video slot machines are well known and are quite popular with players. In a basic form, the player makes a wager to play the game and enables one or more pay lines on a video display. Upon prompting play, a processor selects and displays game symbols on the display in a matrix form. The symbols on any enabled (selected) pay line are compared to the established pay table of winning outcomes to determine if a winning or a losing outcome have been obtained. Where a winning outcome is obtained the player receives an award based upon an established pay table for the game. The player then makes another wager, enables one or more pay lines and plays another game (often referred to as a “hand” or “spin”).

[0005] In either the electromechanical or video slot machine games, it is known to provide the player with a predetermined number of free games or spins, without requiring a new wager, based on one or more triggering outcomes. These are generally known as bonus games.

[0006] To make such video games more entertaining, it is known to provide certain configurations of bonuses. The bonus may be triggered by a certain combination of symbols on a pay line or scattered on the display (a “scatter” bonus) during the play of the base game. It is also known to provide secondary screens for issuing a bonus. That is, when the player obtains a certain, predetermined outcome during play of the base game, the game processor displays a secondary screen where the player can select from certain options to obtain the bonus. For example, in one game, the player selects, via a touch-screen from between several displayed “pigs”, the selected pig, in an animated fashion, revealing the bonus. The bonus can be a fixed amount, usually a function of the amount wagered, or a multiplier, which is multiplied by the amount wagered to determine the amount won.

[0007] Many of these games are themed and the symbols and bonuses are configured to be consistent with the theme of the game.

[0008] The bonus game is designed to attract and retain a player's attention and thus increase the amount of time spent at a particular game. New games are continuously being produced, while older games are being replaced. Thus, to extend the life of a game, the bonus game must be able to grab a player's attention and to keep the player interested over a longer period of time.

[0009] The present invention is aimed at one or more of the problems identified above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION AND ADVANTAGES

[0010] In one aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine for playing a game is provided. The game includes a base game and a bonus game. A display displays a plurality of game elements during the base game. A controller is coupled to the display for controlling the display during the base game and the bonus game as a function of input by a player. The controller identifies an occurrence of a triggering event during the base game, enters the bonus game upon the occurrence of the triggering event, and offers the player a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option in the bonus game.

[0011] In another aspect of the present invention, a method for operating a gaming machine for playing a game is provided. The game includes a base game and a bonus game. The method includes the step of displaying a plurality of game elements on a display during the base game and controlling the display during the base game and a bonus game as a function of input by a player. An occurrence of a triggering event is identified during base game and the bonus game is entered. The bonus game offers the player a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option. The skilled option includes a first pay table and the non-skilled option including a second pay table.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0013]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gaming machine;

[0014]FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the game machine of FIG. 1.

[0015]FIG. 3 is a display of a grid of cells during a normal random display;

[0016]FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic illustration of the game elements used in an embodiment of the present invention;

[0017]FIG. 5 is a display of the grid having a bonus trigger combination appearing within the cells, according to en embodiment of the present invention;

[0018]FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic illustration of a first screen used in the bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0019]FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic illustration of a second screen used in the bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0020]FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic illustration of a third screen used in the bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0021]FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic illustration of a fourth screen used in the bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0022]FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic illustration of a fifth screen used in the bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0023]FIG. 11 is a diagrammatic illustration of a sixth screen used in the bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0024]FIG. 12 is a diagrammatic illustration of a seventh screen used in the bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0025]FIG. 13 is a flow diagram of a method for operating a gaming machine, according to an embodiment of the present invention; and,

[0026]FIG. 14 is a flow diagram of a method for operating a gaming machine, according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ONE EMBODIMENT

[0027] With reference to the drawings and in operation, a gaming machine 10 is depicted in FIG. 1, which may be used to implement a base game and a bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention. For example, the gaming machine 10 may be any slot machine having traditional reels with elements capable of performing the subject invention, where the bonus game is implemented and displayed using a separate video screen. In another embodiment, the gaming machine 10 is a video slot machine which displays the base game and the bonus game on a single display (see below). The gaming machine 10 may also be implemented using any suitable type of entertainment device for personal or for playing through the internet, such as a desktop computer, a notebook or mobile computer, or a personal digital assistant (PDA).

[0028] While the following description is directed towards a casino gaming apparatus in the form of a slot machine, where monetary units or their equivalent, such as accumulated gaming credits, are wagered and won, it should be understood that the method can be practiced as a novelty game where fictitious gaming credits are wagered and won.

[0029] The gaming machine 10 includes a video display 12 for displaying screens or screens and combinations of game elements (see below) during the base game and bonus games. In one embodiment, the video display 12 is a touch screen cathode ray tube (CRT) display, but other types of displays may be used, such as dot matrix, LED, liquid crystal displays (LCD), electro-luminescent displays or generally any suitable display.

[0030] The display 12 is within a housing 14 which includes various components including a wager accepting device 16, of a type known in the art, and a pay out device 18 of the type generally known in the art. In one embodiment, the display 12 is a touch-screen device which also provides means for the player to control the play of the game. Additionally, or alternatively, the game machine 10 may include any suitable input means, such as game control buttons, keyboard, mouse or the like.

[0031] In one aspect of the present invention, the wager accepting device 16, as is known in the art, includes one or more of a token/coin acceptor, cash validator and acceptor, credit/debit card reader, or other suitable means for a player to make wagers to play the game. The pay out device 18, as is known in the art, may be embodied as a hopper to receive and dispense coins/tokens, means for accumulating game play credits, a device for writing to a credit voucher, credit card device or the like.

[0032] In an illustrated embodiment, the gaming machine 10 is adapted to play a game entitled “Granny's Treasure™ ”, which has a “Yard Sale” theme. The Granny's Treasure™ game includes a base game and a bonus game, as described below. However, it should be noted that the gaming machine 10 may be adapted to implement other games having different themes, in accordance with the present invention.

[0033] With reference to FIG. 2, the gaming machine 10 includes a controller 20 which controls the display 12 and the play of the game in response to input from a player. In one embodiment, the controller 20 includes a microprocessor based central processing unit or CPU 22 and a first data structure 24. In one embodiment, the first data structure 24 may be embodied as any suitable memory device including a random access memory (RAM), an EEPROM, compact disk, flash card or compact flash card, and/or other suitable memory device. As shown, the display 12, wager accepting device 16, and the pay out device 18 are coupled to the central process unit 22.

[0034] During the base game, the controller 20 working in conjunction with the wager accepting device 16, detects when a player has inserted a number of coins or credits. Then the controller 20 operates to execute the base game in accordance with a base game program stored in the first data structure 24.

[0035] With reference to FIG. 3, in the illustrated embodiment, as discussed above, the present invention may be embodied in a game entitled, “Granny's Treasure™” which has a “yard sale” theme. Granny's Treasure™ is a five-reel slot game with 10 pay-lines. Each reel includes three positions.

[0036] As discussed above, the display 12 is a touch screen display. A game play area 26 is displayed during the base game which game elements, displays and screens for pay, are displayed as well as areas to impart information to the player during play and for the player to input data to the controller 20. Certain of these areas are allocated for display purposes only and do not provide for touch screen input to the controller 20. For example, a credit area 28 displays the total amount of accumulated credits for play of the game, a total bet area 30 displays the total amount of a player's current wager, a won area 32 displays the total amount won for the hand or spin of the game and a pay area 34 displays the corresponding amount paid to the player in coins, tokens, or credits, for a winning outcome in the base or bonus games (see below).

[0037] Additionally, a select lines area 36 displays the number of enabled pay lines being played by the player and a bet per line area 38 displays the amount of credits wagered per enabled pay line. In one embodiment, the select lines area 36 and the bet per line area 38 are touch screen button, which when actuated, toggle through the select line and bet per line options, respectively.

[0038] In addition to the foregoing areas, certain portions of the game play area 26 define input buttons for inputting information to the controller 20 for controlling the game. Actuation of a pay table button 40 displays various information to the player related to the various winning outcomes and the pay or award for each. Actuation of a help button 42 displays various help information to the player, such as game instructions. Actuation of a cash out button 44 results in the issuance of the amount of accumulated credits amassed during the game to the player. Other action and control buttons may be provided as is known in the art.

[0039] The controller is configured to display in the game play area 26, a primary game matrix 46 of coordinates shown for purposes of this description as a three-by-five matrix 46. During play, game elements (as described below) are selected and displayed in each coordinate of the matrix 46. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the matrix 44 may be displayed in a fashion of five simulated slot machine reels 48A, 48B, 48C, 48D, and 48E which correspond to the five columns of the matrix 46. Each reel 48A-48E includes three coordinates defining the game matrix 46.

[0040] When play of the (base) game is prompted by the player touching a spin button or maximum bet button 15 (not shown), the controller 20 selects and displays data from the first data structure 24 representing various game elements to be displayed to define one or more outcomes for the play of a game hand or spin. The selection of the game elements is based, for a casino game, upon a random number generator (RNG). Game element data is stored and/or selected based upon a predetermined distribution such that each game element has a predetermined statistical probability of being selected as is known in the art. When the game elements are selected they are displayed in the coordinates of the matrix 46. The controller 20 may be configured to simulate rotation of the reels 46A-46E in advance of the display of the game elements.

[0041] As shown in FIG. 3, the controller 20 is configured to display various pay lines for the matrix 46. As is know, the game may include ten or more or less pay lines. Generally, the pay lines include horizontal and/or diagonal line segments having a single coordinate per each reel 48A-48E. In a manner known in the art, the display 12 may be configured to display either or both the selected pay lines and the number of credits wagered per line. During the base game, an award is given to the player when predetermined winning combinations of the game elements 50 appear on an enabled pay line, in a manner well-known in the art.

[0042] With reference to FIG. 4, the first data structure 24 includes data representing the plurality of game elements 50, which in the illustrated embodiment, includes elements 50A-50M which are consistent with the yard sale theme of the Granny's Treasure game. The random number generator and the first data structure 24 cooperate to provide for the random selection and assignment of the game elements 50 into the coordinates of the game matrix 46 for the base game to define, along each player enabled pay line, a winning or losing outcome. Based upon the distribution of the game elements 50 in the first data structure 24, each predetermined winning combination has a predetermined, statistical probability of being selected as well as an assigned pay (award) for each to define the overall pay, or conversely “hold”, for the game. If a player obtains a winning symbol combination on one or more enabled pay lines, the controller 20 issues a base game award in the form of credits, tokens, coins, or the like.

[0043] In addition to the base game, the game machine 10 provides a bonus game. The bonus game is entered when a triggering event occurs during the base game. Generally, one or more game elements 50 or combinations of game elements 50 are defined as triggering event. For example, one type of triggering event is known as a “scatter bonus”. A scatter bonus is typically defined as the occurrence of a predetermined number, e.g., three, of one of the game elements 50 anywhere on game matrix 46. Another type of triggering event is defined as the occurrence of a predetermined number of one of the game elements 50 in predetermined locations on a pay line or pay lines, e.g., the pay lines enabled by the player.

[0044] With reference to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, an example of one triggering event is defined as the occurrence of a “yard sale” game element 50B in predetermined coordinates of a pay line defined by the middle row of the matrix 46. The triggering event may be defined with respect to any enabled pay line or less than all of the positions within the pay line. For example, a triggering event could be defined as the occurrence of the yard sale game element 50B within the first three or the last three reel positions of an enabled pay line.

[0045] In one aspect of the present invention, the controller 20 is adapted to identify an occurrence of the triggering event during the base game, to enter the bonus game upon the occurrence of the triggering event, and offering the player a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option in the bonus game.

[0046] As more fully described below, in one embodiment of the present invention, under both the skilled and non-skilled options, the player is presented with a plurality of objects or items on the game play area 26 and asked to pick one or more of the items. The player's bonus in the bonus game is determined as a function of a multiplier associated with the one or more items.

[0047] In one embodiment, the skilled option has a first pay table and the non-skilled option has a second pay table, where the multiplier is determined as a function of the respective pay tables. The first pay table represents a greater pay opportunity to the player than the second pay table. In other words, the skilled option has a potentially greater pay-out than the non-skilled option. For example, the first pay table may have a first maximum payout and the second pay table has a second maximum payout, where the first maximum payout is greater than the second maximum payout. Additionally, the second maximum payout has a higher relative probability than the first maximum payout.

[0048] As described above, the controller 20 is adapted to present to the player a plurality of items when the player selects one of the skilled and the non-skilled options. Each item has an associated multiplier. The multiplier associated with each item may be determined when the bonus game is entered or after one of the items has been selected by the player.

[0049] In one embodiment of the present invention, if the player selects the skilled option, the controller 20 prompts the player to select one of the items and then displays the multiplier associated with the first selected item. The player is then prompted to either keep or discard the first selected item. Thus, this portion of the bonus game is characterized as “skilled” since the player must choose whether to discard or retain the first selected item based on its multiplier. In other words, the player must decide whether it is more likely or not a second selected item will have a higher multiplier. For example, if the multiplier of the first selected item is the lowest multiplier available, then the player should discard the first selected item. To the contrary, if the multiplier associated with the first selected item is the highest multiplier available then, the player should keep the first selected item. However, for the multipliers in between, the choice may not be as simple. If the player decides to discard the first selected item, then the controller 20 prompts the player to select another one of the items and then displays the multiplier associated with the second selected item. It should be noted that if a second selection is to be chosen by the player, then the first selected item and its associated multiplier are unavailable.

[0050] In the illustrated embodiment, the bonus is a function of the multiplier associated with the first selected item if the player keeps the first selected item and is a function of the multiplier associated with the second selected item if the player discards the first selected item. Furthermore, the bonus or award from the skilled option of the bonus game may be determined by multiplying the player's wager per pay line by the multiplier.

[0051] In one embodiment if the player selects the non-skilled option, the controller 20 prompts the player to select two of the items and displays the multiplier associated with each selected item. The bonus for the bonus game under the non-skilled option may be a function of a sum of the multipliers associated with each of the selected items. For example, the bonus or award from the non-skilled option of the bonus game may be determined by multiplying the player's wager per line by the sum of the multipliers associated with each of the selected items

[0052] With reference to FIGS. 5-12, an exemplary bonus game, according to an embodiment of the present invention, will now be explained with respect to the Granny's Treasure™ game.

[0053] With particular reference to FIG. 5, the triggering event is defined as the occurrence or appearance of the yard sale game element 50B in the positions on the first three reels 48A, 48B, 48C on a selected pay line (here, the center pay line). As shown, the game play area 26 displays a graphical representation of a game character, “Pearl” 54. In one embodiment, Pearl 54 is featured in different animations which are consistent with the theme of the game, at appropriate points during play. For example, when the triggering event occurs, all of the reels 48A, 48B, 48C, 48D, 48E, fade to white (see FIG. 6) and the “Yard Sale” sign 56 positioned above the reels 48A, 48B, 48C, 48D, 48E, drops down over the reels and flips over to reveal the word “BONUS” (not portrayed). Pearl 54, then jumps up and pushes the reels 48A, 48B, 48C, 48D, 48E, off the game play area 26. This reveals the plurality of items, which in the illustrated embodiment, include a framed picture 58A, a phonograph 58B, a chest 58C, a statue 581), and a piggy bank 58E.

[0054] With reference to FIG. 7, Pearl 54 is shown, with first and second signs 60A, 60B. In the illustrated embodiment, the first and second signs 60A, 60B provide, to the player, the first and second pay tables and prompt the player to choose the skilled or non-skilled options, respectively. In other words, Pearl 54 prompts the player to choose between one item with the pay table having a higher pay out, but lower odds and two items with lower pay out, but higher odds.

[0055] With particular reference to FIGS. 8 and 9, if the player selects the skilled option 60A, Pearl 54 prompts the player to select one item and explains that it can be exchanged (see dialog box 62).

[0056] With reference to FIG. 9, after the player has selected an item (in the illustrated example, the player has chosen the phonograph 58B), the associated multiplier is highlight in a table 64, the item is marked as “SOLD”, and Pearl 54 prompts the player if they want to discard the selected item.

[0057] If the player decides to discard the selected item, the player is able to select another item in the same manner, however, the previously selected item (and its associated multiplier) is not available.

[0058] With reference to FIGS. 10-12, once the player's final selection has been made, Pearl 54 rubs her hand together and acts curious about the object or item the player has chosen (FIG. 10). In FIG. 11, the game play area 26 darkens and the selected item is brought forward and the multiplier is displayed in FIG. 12.

[0059] Similarly, if the non-skilled option is chosen, both selected items are shown and the sum of their multipliers are displayed.

[0060] With reference to FIG. 13, a method 66, according to an embodiment of the present invention, operates a gaming machine 10 for playing a game. The game includes a base game and a bonus game. In a first process step 68, a plurality of game elements 50 are displayed on a display 12 during the base game. In a decision step 70, if the bonus game triggering event has occurred then the game proceeds to a second process step 72. If the bonus game triggering event has not occurred then the game proceeds back to the first process step 68.

[0061] In the second process step 72, the bonus game is entered. In a process third step 74, the player is offered a choice between a skilled option and a non-skilled option in the bonus game. In a fourth process step 76, the chosen skilled or non-skilled option is played and a bonus is responsively awarded.

[0062] With reference to FIG. 14, a method 78, according to another embodiment of the present invention, operates a gaming machine 10 for playing a game. The game includes a base game and a bonus game. In a first process step 80, the base game is played. In a first decision step 82, if the bonus game triggering event has occurred then the game proceeds to a second decision step 84. If the bonus game triggering event has not occurred then the game proceeds back to the first process step 80. In the second decision step 84, the player is offered a choice between skilled and non-skilled options. If the player chooses the skilled option, then the game proceeds to a second process step 86.

[0063] In the second process step 86, the player is prompted to select a first item from a plurality of items. Once the player has selected an item, a corresponding multiplier of the selected item is displayed in a third process step 88.

[0064] In a third decision step 90, the player is prompted to either keep or discard the selected item. If the player chooses to discard the selected item, then the game proceeds to a fourth process step 92. In the fourth process step 92, the player is prompted to select a second item (the first selected item and its multiplier are unavailable). After the player has selected a second item, its multiplier is displayed and an award is awarded as a function of the multiplier associated with the second selected item in a fifth process step 94.

[0065] If the player chooses to keep the selected item in the third decision step 90, then the game proceeds to a sixth process step 96. In the sixth process step 96, a bonus or award is awarded as a function of the multiplier associated with the first selected item.

[0066] If the player chooses the non-skilled option in the second decision step 84, then the game proceeds to a seventh process step 98. In the seventh process step 98, the player is prompted to select two items from a plurality of items, each having an associated multiplier. In a eighth process step 100, after the player has chosen both items, a bonus is awarded as a function of the multipliers of the two selected items.

[0067] Other aspects, objects, and features of the present invention may be obtained from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8231451Mar 30, 2007Jul 31, 2012Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game with player pre-selecting bonus feature
US8272940 *Mar 3, 2008Sep 25, 2012IgtGaming device having match game with award determined by prediction of correct matches
US20080153584 *Mar 3, 2008Jun 26, 2008IgtGaming device having match game with award determined by prediction of correct matches
WO2007123710A2 *Mar 30, 2007Nov 1, 2007Allon G EnglmanWagering game with bonus-selection feature
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/20
International ClassificationG07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/3267, G07F17/3262
European ClassificationG07F17/32M4, G07F17/32M2, G07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 16, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: KONAMI GAMING, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SAVIO, RUSSELL;AOKI, DION;NEPOMUCENO, MAX;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:013308/0325
Effective date: 20020911